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As England go into next week's double header against Holland, Vicky Exley is confident that they are on the right track in their preparations for the European Championships, to be held in June.
The Doncaster Rovers Belles midfielder told Women's Soccer Scene that she is really looking forward to the games coming up. "It's going to be exciting," says Vicky. "They're always big games when we play for England."
England's season started off disappointingly with a 2-1 defeat by Russia in Bristol last month but Vicky feels that the team merited more out of the game. "I don't think we deserved to lose against Russia," she admits. "I thought we played well but never mind, it happens."
As competition hots up for a place in the squad next summer, Vicky understands that every opportunity needs to be taken: "Everyone wants to go to the Europeans, it's massive. It's in this country as well so we're all pushing for a place. Once you get your chance, you have to play well as we all want to be in the next squad.
So are England progessing well? "Definitely," she replies, "just look at the youngsters coming through. We've now got the under-19 and under-21 set up and the players coming through are playing well, so it's exciting."
The UEFA Championships are to be held in the North West, and for Yorkshire-born Vicky it will give her an extra incentive to win a place in the squad. "We've not had a lot of games up north for England, it's usually in London and down south," she says. "We'll get the crowds up there, there have been a lot there when we have played at Burnley and other grounds."
How does Vicky feel England can do in the tournament -semi finals, maybe? "Hopefully, you never know - we could go all the way," she replies. "We're training really hard and have programmes set each week to follow and every time we come back, people are looking fitter and stronger.
"Everyone gets along (in the squad), we don't meet up that regularly but when we do it's a good bunch of girls and it's fantastic."
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